Moved on from levels, but now drowning in KPIs?

by Gareth Davies, Managing Director, Frog Education


We are hearing reports from all over the country of schools literally drowning in KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and complex assessment systems. If this applies to you, take comfort that you are not in the minority.

The likelihood is that you either haven’t worked out what your KPIs should be as effectively as you might, or that you’re overlaying the principle of levels onto each KPI (and probably don’t realise that you’ve done it).

The NAHT with the help of 55 leading head teachers, have provided recommendations on which learning objectives could be used as KPIs. This has been provided as a starting point, they’re not expected to be used as they are.

It is important that you sit down as a team and discuss what the KPIs will be in your school. This is not a one person job. These conversations will surface all sorts of issues and inconsistencies that you probably didn’t know existed. This is particularly apparent if you pull together teachers from different years, so if you’re looking at year 2, you will need the year 3 teacher there too.

The discussion, ideally, should be the year 2 teacher going through all the learning objectives and describing what they cover for that content. Having the year 3 teacher there will highlight to them aspects that are covered less well, or in more depth than they perhaps realised. Don’t be surprised to see that some things aren’t covered at all.

Following that, you should all collectively decide what the KPIs are. What few things, if you made sure every child had them, would get you to where you want to be? And to be clear, this is what you want to focus on, what’s important for your children. You may even find yourself adding some that aren’t in the curriculum.

See our next blog post for an example of how schools are layering levels over the top of otherwise good assessment practice.